You keep for your correction
Wednesday, August 30, 2006 posted by Henri
So the wife is a classically trained classic Japanese dancer. Which complements the fact that I am almost a ninja. Well a few more classes at ninja night school and I will be. Night school trained ninjas are wayyyy better than correspondence school or online trained Ninjas. Ninja. Just had to say it one more time, sorry. ninja. Ok ok I'm done. nin. So a few weeks ago the cute wife had a performance at the Palo Alto Obon festival and I kept the Conman up way past his bedtime in order to attend. ja. And it was a baby milestone because this was the first time the kid got to see his mom in a kimono. Now the nuance of Japanese dance appreciation is completely lost on me because it all looks okey dokey to me. I mean the wife she can look at someone Japanese dancing and say oh she's real good or oh she's really really good or oh my god she is Japanese dancing her Japanese ass off. And I'm like...yeah I agree, all the while thinking what the hell? I can't tell what the hell anybody's doing. It's like Hula, good Hula? Bad Hula? Wait wasn't Hula-Hula the sidekick of Plasticman? Man that's not PC, why you got to call the Hawaiian dude Hula-hula?
So anyway I kept Conor up way past his bedtime so he could see Mom dance. So the curtains open and the music starts and the wife is moving very precisely and the kid is staring at her and thinking...hmmm that lady looks familiar. And I'm whispering to him...Hey Con look it's Mom. That's Mommy dancing. And suddenly he gets it. Then he gets pissed. Why the hell is Mom dancing up there when she could be looking at me? Look at me! I'm right here, your baby boy. And then finally he can't take it anymore and starts crying. Poor guy. Don't cry Conor, can't you see that Mom is dancing just like Tamlyn Tomita in Karate Kid II. Ahhh Tamlyn Tomita...
It all started in college. No wait.
It all started in Jr High [Cue Peter Cetera...I am the man who will fi-ight for your honor...]. How can you follow up The Karate Kid? Oh wait go to Japan? Damn that's a good idea. And then I saw the movie. Damn that was rad. Hey who was that chick? I think I'll marry her.
Ok now fast forward to college. Pissed as usual. Playing everyone's favorite game: What Movie is This Line From? There were two classics:
1) "I'm Batman"
2) "You keep for your correction"
Oh and a distant third was "Like a Geiiiiiisha". Haha drink up everybody. The haunting fact that two of the top three favorite drinking game lines came from Karate Kid 2 echoes the subtle power and infinite awesomeness of this movie. At this point in my life I hadn't married Tamlyn Tomita yet. And if we're being honest here I think that movie line game was just played by me when I was drunk.
Me: Hey hey girlie hey girlie.
Girlie: Your drunk.
Me: Hey what movie is this from?
Girlie: You're Henri aren't you.
Me: "I'm Batman."
Girlie: You're Batman?
Me: Batman! Yes you are correct! [crashes to floor]
Good times. In case you don't remember or have not seen the Karate Kid 2, "You keep for your correction" or YKFYC for short, is a classic line uttered by the character Chozen played by Yuji Okumoto as he takes off his fruit splattered shirt and throws it to Tamlyn's character. It is used in film school to demonstrate the closest attempt in American cinema to not emasculate the Asian man. But that's neither here nor there. Back to Tamlyn. So years later I'm in grad school and dating my wife and at this point I regret having wanted to marry Tamlyn because things are going well for me and Cindy. In fact I'm trying to avoid Tamlyn because it would be an awkward situation.
But you can't fight fate.
So one night we went to a screening of Greg Pak's Robot Stories. And damn if she wasn't there. I had just seen her too a few weeks before at a read-through of a play she was doing about Camp. At the read-through I kept my head low so she wouldn't see me and remember the fact that we were supposed to get married. At the film screening we sat in the back, watched the movie and were all set to leave when they had to go and ask trivia questions after the whole conversation with the directors and Tamlyn thing. Normally I would have no problem keeping my mouth shut and not shout out trivia answers but those bastards had to hit me where I was most vulnerable. They were asking movie trivia questions about Asian-American films/actors. I thought crap if they ask anything about Karate Kid 2 I'm going to win and then I'll have to say hi to Tamlyn and then I guess we'll have to have a talk about her and me and Cindy. Even worse I had this growing urge to scream out "You keep for your correction" real bad. I mean Tamlyn was there for god sakes, how could I keep myself from screaming that. They started asking the next question and all I could do was keep telling myself don't scream YKFYC don't scream YKFYC. Just stay seated, shut up, don't answer any trivia questions and DO NOT yell YouKeepForYourCorrection! I think it was Greg who was asking the trivia question...
Greg: This movie starring Joan Chen was set in a post-apocalyptic setting...
Me (arms raised and screaming): THE BLOOD OF HEROES!
Oh crap. This was too good. The only thing better than smart ass references to the Karate Kid 2 would be references to one of the most overlooked obscure action films of all time: The Blood of Heroes. Starring Joan Chen and Rutger Hauer it's about a future sport involving putting a dog skull on a wooden stake, admit it you know you now have to see it. Greg Pak was shocked. No one on the film circuit had answered that trivia question. As I was walking down to claim my prize I was so lost in how good The Blood of Heroes was that I didn't realize that there was a girl walking up towards me. And our eyes met. Tamlyn. She was personally bringing me my trivia prize. And it all came back to me. That summer in 1986. We were so young Tamlyn. You with the crazy big hair with wispy tendrils. Me with my Members Only jacket because yes...I am a member. That fool Daniel and his stupid drum. And like a wicked case of Tourette's I feel the words rising up in me...You Keep For Your Correction. You Keep for Your Correction. Must...not....say...it. And its like slow motion, she's beaming. I watch her slowly mouth the words to me "How did you know that movie?" And now we're face to face. My lips clamped shut...trying so damn hard not to say it while the thought of saying it is so perfect and hilarious that I'm also trying not to bust up laughing my ass off. I have to tell Tamlyn two things: (1) Marry me (2) You keep for your correction. And she's holding my prize, offering it to me. And then it comes out...
Me AKA Dumbass: "Thanks for my collection"
WTF? Then I hugged her. I'm pretty sure we did not kiss. And I think I married somebody else? And just like that I'm back to the present time. At the Obon, watching my beautiful wife dancing. Conor crying because Mom is busy dancing. The memory of Tamlyn waving goodbye. We'll always have Berkeley. We'll always have Berkeley.